Nissan starts testing new self-driving vehicle on roads and highways

Nissan has started testing a new self-driving vehicle this week, not only on isolated private Japanese roads but also on inner city roads and highways.

Nissan plans to add its piloted drive system to its vehicles by the end of 2016 and expects to have a fully automated system that does not require human input by 2020. 

The larger autonomous driving system had been named the Nissan Intelligent Drive.

Engadget reported Nissan was using a high-spec laser scanner with three dimensional measurement to sense how far from the car objects were.

The drive comes with an eight direction camera with 360 degree viewing angle of surroundings to allow the vehicle to make decisions at intersections or sharp bends in the road.

The autonomous vehicle prototype has been developed on the Nissan Leaf model.

According to CTV News Toyota and Tesla had also been testing autonomous cars but Nissan's Leaf was undergoing tests in more complex urban areas as well as the easier to navigate highways.

The Leaf was chosen to test autonomy, rather than an Infinity model, as Nissan believed that battery powered cars would be more widespread by the time the technology was released to the public.

Nissan aimed to reach 'zero emissions' target with its new-age vehicles emitting zero per cent carbon dioxide.

Nissan's Intelligent Driving technology aimed to cut traffic-related deaths with its automated technology.

If the testing phase were to go as planned, Nissan management aimed to have Stage One or Piloted Drive 1.0 ready by the end of next year.

Nissan's electric and self-driving car could be city-traffic management ready by year 2020.

According to Nissan, initial tests would be conducted in Japan and later expanded to other countries.

Takao Asami, senior vice president of Nissan said, ''We at Nissan are setting clear goals and preparing for the implementation of piloted drive. The prototype that we're introducing here today is proof of how close we are towards the realization of this goal. Nissan aspires for a safe and trouble-free motoring future, and we plan on leading the industry in the implementation of piloted drive.''